The REAL Reason We Look For Validation and Approval…and how to overcome it.
I grew up needing attention and the approval of my father like it was a drug.
I was nothing if he wasn’t proud of me, or hadn’t signed off with a nod anything I was pursuing. Even when I was working autonomously in a successful role in Internal Communication and PR, I was still referring back to him for validation that I was doing a good job.
I was also very beautiful as a young girl, and I was showered with attention and people talking about me all the time.
People wanted to photograph me.
Men wanted to have tumultuous affairs with me. One of my dad’s friends said to me once, ‘If I give you a dollar will you call me when you’re 18?’ … in front of my Dad as a joke (that was the 70s for you!!).
Then there was that time that I walked into an intimate night club and the music almost stopped because everyone turned to ooh and aaah over me.
(I didn’t think I was all that, FYI, despite the hype, because…low self esteem, body image issues, feelings of worthlessness, but nevertheless there was something that others saw…and I got used to the way people looked at me).
I eventually got past the ‘attention for my looks’ addiction, when I settled into relationships with men, but the need for approval from my father stayed with me for many years.
I remember crying to him once that all I wanted was for him to be proud of me because I was lost when he wasn’t telling me what I good job I was doing, or making a decision for me (soooo much self-doubt I had).
I used it like a drug to get me feeling good about myself and my choices.
It wasn’t until I left South Africa and went to live in London that I started to make it on my own because there wasn’t anyone to look to for constant validation.
I became the person I am today. Resilient. Carving my own way and focused on my own path without anyone’s tick of approval needed.
HOW SEEKING VALIDATION HINDERS US
Living life and making decisions from that story of ‘I need someone’s approval’, or not taking action in your business because you fear others won’t approve or won’t like you or will reject or judge you sucks, really it does, am I right?
We never feel like we’re in our power when we’re seeking validation. We are pandering to our self-doubt and low self-worth when we continually go OUTSIDE OF OURSELVES for the answers or for our confidence boost.
We keep ourselves small because we operate from the confines of needing the nod of approval in order to move forward.
We never give ourselves the opportunity to KNOW who we are as powerful creators of our reality and we MISS OUT on a lot of the magic that happens when we are living and working in an effortless and aligned way.
There’s a simple explanation for why we all seek approval and validation, and it’s got nothing to do with self-worth issues or your low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
3 REASONS WE SEEK APPROVAL AND VALIDATION
1. We’ve picked up the vibrational habit from one or both of our parents or main influencers in our early lives.
We learn how the world works from those around us, and whatever coping strategies or habits those close to us have are ones we pick up and carry through our lives.
2. It’s in our DNA. The saying, ‘The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree’ is pretty relevant here because we carry habits of vibration in our DNA that are passed down from generation to generation.
3. We are taught that we need to behave a certain way in order to make others feel good. The more we seek validation and are praised, the more we are trained to behave in a way that brings out positive responses from others. Approval is also a learned trait because, again, if we do something that pleases our major influencers and we are showered with love for it (and shunned or punished when we do something that is not pleasing to them ie we are met with disapproval).
We begin to very quickly tailor our behaviour toward what gets the more positive feedback and soon we’re caught in a loop where we need the validation in order to feel like we’ve made the right decision, done the right thing, succeeded in our choices.
TRY THIS EXERCISE
CONNECTING TO YOUR POWER PLACE
Get yourself feeling calm and centred, and imagine yourself doing something you know you are really good at.
Whether it is in your business, or a craft that you do, or a meal you cook, or when you’re advising your friend who’s having an issue…any time that you feel you KNOW YOUR STUFF.[It doesn’t matter how big or small the thing is that you’re really good at, because it’s all about the FEELING.]
Connect to that feeling. Feel your self-assuredness; the feeling of calm confidence. THAT is your True Power Place. Simple, right? THAT. IS. IT.
Bring that feeling of self- assuredness now into the center of your body (wherever that is for you)…that feeling of KNOWING YOU’VE GOT THIS because you can do this without even thinking. This comes naturally to you. This doesn’t need any effort from you. You just KNOW that you are good at this.
Now expand this feeling; make it bigger.
Feel the energy of this self-assuredness and feel it growing and expanding out in all directions from you. Feel how YOU are in the center of this feeling. YOU are this feeling. YOU are this powerful feeling. And you are sending out the energy of this feeling in all directions.
This is you. You are so powerful. You have come here with a reason. You have come here to have everything you want and to share that with others.
Now sit with this feeling for a while – for as long as you want to. What do you see…or hear…or feel? Don’t question it. There is no right or wrong. Your True Power Place is unique to YOU.
Acknowledge this feeling. Say to yourself, ‘I know this feeling. I’ve felt this feeling many times before. When I came into this world this feeling was my natural state of being. I KNEW my power. I owned my power. I can NOW connect with my power any time I choose because it never left me. I have simply not practiced being connected to it.’
TWO WAYS WE CAN STOP LOOKING FOR VALIDATION
1. We DECIDE. We make a declaration that now that we know this new perspective, and it resonates, we can STOP.
Just like that.
We don’t need to go dig anything up. We don’t need to know where it came from and go and tell stories about how it came to be like this.
We can IN THE MOMENT just LET.IT.GO.
2. We commit to deepening into our KNOWING (deeper than mainstream intuition) and allowing THAT to validate us (because it is Who We Are, so it’s actually SELF-validation).
We declare that we are going to commune with our knowing on a daily basis so that we start to be LED by our guidance, rather than standing in self-doubt, second-guessing and needing to go ask everyone outside of ourselves for the answers or for their approval.
The more we practice this deepening, the less we seek validation from others and the more magic we create in our lives.